Leicester City: Buddhism, Karma and the Premier League Title

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As is being widely reported the English football team Leicester City look likely, against all the odds, to win the Premier League title this year. After struggling on the pitch for several years they were never considered contenders for the title at the beginning of the season. In fact, they were many people’s favourites to be relegated.

In the search for their turnaround of fortunes many have suggested the influence of Buddhism on the success of the team. Leicester City have Thai owners and Thai Buddhist monks have been regular visitors to the teams King Power Stadium ground. During these visits the monks have regularly performed Buddhist blessings and purifications.

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After their poor season the club’s owner, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, had the idea that their lack of success was due to a lack of ‘merit’ (an idea closely related to karma). By actively supporting the ordination of Buddhist monks and the building of Buddhist temples it was intended that Leicester City’s levels of merit would increase. With an increase of merit, generated primarily by performing Buddhist offerings and benevolent actions, good fortune would occur. The rituals at the club’s ground were intended to be auspicious and maintain the benefits of merit. Finally, certain powerful Buddhist objects were used in the form of amulets, believed to have a powerful and beneficial influence.

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Clearly, the terrible season suffered by Chelsea is down to a lack of religious merit accrued at Stamford Bridge.

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Soka Gakkai as a form of Buddhism

Philosophy & Religion Video Interviews

In this interview, I talk to Robert Harrap, General Director of SGI-UK, and we discuss the nature of Soka Gakkai as a form of Buddhism. We touch on the way n which SGI is distinctive, and also its points of commonality with other forms of Buddhism.

You can see more about how SGI seeks to embody Nichiren Buddhism at http://www.sgi-uk.org/Buddhism

The Religion, Philosophy & Ethics course at the University of Gloucestershire offers the chance to study philosophy, and a range of religious traditions. You can see the course map HERE.

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Memories of a Bowie Conference: 5. Someone sees it all

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Paul Fuller. David Bowie, Buddhist Modernism and Charismatic Charms

SPEAKER Fuller lectures in Buddhist Studies at the University of Cardiff and is the author of The Notion of Ditthi in Theravada Buddhism: The Point of View (Routledge, 2004).

imanbowieSYNOPSIS Examines how Bowie used Buddhist ideas taking as its starting point the notion of Buddhist Modernism (McMahan, 2008). Early Bowie was immersed in Buddhist ideas as reflected in his songs, but how did he understand them? Gombrich and Obeyesekere use the term ‘Protestant Buddhism’ to explain Buddhism that is rational and scientific. Or perhaps Bowie’s approach shows a more traditional understanding of Buddhism. Station to Station can be seen as charismatic, acting as a charm and this would be an apotropaic use of religious language in which language has a power beyond its content. At this time Bowie’s work was presumably Christian (for example, Word on Wing), but perhaps by not…

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